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Airbnb Host Creates Petition To Confront New York Lawmakers

New York state’s high court will hear appeal in soda ban case

Soda ban

NEW YORK — New Yorkers can visit thousands of priceless works of art just about any time they want, meticulously staged and presented at the Metropolitan Museum of Art or the Whitney. But this month, they seem to prefer to trek across the citys boroughs, ignoring the smell of urine, to catch glimpses of the outdoor graffiti art of Banksy, the infamous British street artist. Seemingly without any advance notice, or permission from anyone, Banksy has set up a residence called Better In Than Out on the streets of New York for the month of October, unveiling one piece of art a day, which fans can follow on a website , complete with an audio guide. Also The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, 7 East 7th Street, New York, NY 10003, USA He began on Oct. 1 with a mural in Manhattan, depicting one boy standing on the back of another, spray-painting a sign that says Graffiti is a crime. His most recent creation was a fiberglass sculpture of a boy shining the oversized shoes of Ronald McDonald, which was unveiled in Queens but will be moved outside a different McDonalds around the city every day. Though it appeared Saturday, crowds still gathered Wednesday around a mural, “Concrete Confessional,” painted inside a concrete block near Cooper Union, the art, engineering and architecture school on the East Side of Manhattan. In one hollow section of the block, Banksy had painted a priest; in the other, a man giving confession. (There appeared to be human feces on the street a step away, though likely not as part of the artwork.) The images were facing a busy street, but so many people came to see the artwork that authorities brought in a backhoe to turn it around so that it would face the sidewalk, perhaps averting a Banksy-related car crash. Cyrus Blaze, 19, a student at Cooper Union, watched the whole process and took a video of it with his phone, which he posted on Instagram . He thinks the artists work is funny and smart, but other students arent so forgiving. A lot of people are pissed off because there are so many crowds of people coming around our school, acknowledging Banksy but not acknowledging our schools issues, he said.

GM Sandy Alderson: The New York Mets’ Future Is Now

(Allison Joyce / Getty Images / March 11, 2013) Daniel Wiessner Reuters 11:15 a.m. CDT, October 17, 2013 ALBANY, New York (Reuters) – New York state’s highest court agreed on Thursday to hear Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s appeal of a decision striking down a ban on large sugary drinks, setting up the final showdown over one of the outgoing mayor’s most controversial policies. The Court of Appeals did not say why it had agreed to hear the appeal. The law would have barred restaurants, movie theaters, food carts and other businesses regulated by the city’s health department from selling sodas and other sugary beverages larger than 16 ounces (473 ml). In March, just one day before it was to take effect, a state judge found the policy to be illegal. A mid-level state appeals court agreed in July that the city’s mayoral-appointed health board had exceeded its authority when it approved the new regulation. It also noted that loopholes would have exempted grocery and convenience stores, such as 7-Eleven, known for its 64-ounce (1.9 liter) Big Gulp, as well as high-calorie milkshakes and coffee drinks, such as Starbucks Frappuccinos. The ruling was a victory for companies including Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Dr Pepper Snapple, which had argued that the law would do little to address obesity while imposing unnecessary costs. The restaurant industry and several business groups also had filed papers in support of the lawsuit. City officials did not return a call seeking comment, nor did the American Beverage Association, the lead plaintiff in the case. The city had argued that the lower appeals court had ignored decades of case law establishing that the health board has unique powers to regulate public health. “(The Court of Appeals) has long recognized that the board of health is not a typical administrative agency, but rather, is an entity with legislative authority,” city lawyer Fay Ng wrote. During his three terms, Bloomberg has made public health a signature issue, prohibiting smoking in restaurants, bars and parks; banning trans fats; and requiring chain restaurants to post calorie counts. (Editing by Scott Malone and Gunna Dickson) Copyright 2013, Reuters

New York Jets Have to Balance Flight as Schedule Gets Tougher

“If we hit that goal by October 20th, I pledge to deliver the signatures to every senator myself.” As of this writing the petition has surpassed 20,000 signatures, the majority of which were gathered within the last 24 hours. Airbnb also got behind the petition on Monday by sending out an e-mail to its thousands of New York members. “The New York attorney general has subpoenaed the records of almost all of our New York hosts,” Airbnb’s global head of community Douglas Atkin wrote in the e-mail. “We are fighting the subpoena with all we’ve got, but poorly written laws make for even worse enforcement, and unless you help to stop it once and for all, the laws may never get better and New Yorkers will continue to suffer.” The debacle between New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Airbnb has been ongoing over the past year, but it got heated when Schneiderman filed a subpoena earlier this month. The subpoena requests three years’ worth of data on thousands of Airbnb New York hosts. Airbnb has said that it has 225,000 community members in New York. The Attorney General’s office is specifically looking for data on 15,000 hosts — it’s unclear if this includes almost all of Airbnb’s New York hosts. While Airbnb has said that it will cooperate with New York’s lawmakers to root out illegal hotel operators and slumlords, it also filed a motion last week stating the subpoena was “unreasonably broad” and it won’t turn over sweeping amounts of information on hosts who have done no wrong. Schneiderman’s subpoena is based on a 2011 New York state law that makes it illegal for New York residents to rent out a property for less than 29 days. The law is meant to protect renters, so that slumlords don’t force them to leave to make a quick buck on unlicensed hotels and short-term stays. After the petition popped up and Airbnb sent out its e-mail to New York members on Monday, a spokesman from Schneiderman’s office accused the service of fear mongering, according to the Wall Street Journal .

1 receivers. Do the Jets have a chance to make a run at a playoff spot? Chances are low and nobody should feel too strongly about it. But are we really going to be that pessimistic? The Jets are an average ball club at 3-3 and all things considered, that isn’t a bad thing. With the schedule getting rough heading into the Week 10 bye, the Jets really just need to keep their head above water. Jet fans mostly would and should be content with being in some kind of striking distance when the schedule eases up. The fact of the matter is that Week 7 is approaching and the game means something. This isn’t the 1-5 team people thought they’d see by now. The competitive nature of Ryan’s team has taken them off the list of punch lines and put them on the list of NFL football teams. Brian Sausa is a Queens, New York native who contributes both Jets and Knicks pieces for Yahoo Sports.

To hold things down for next year without Harvey, the Mets might be able to round out the final spot in their starting staff with one of two veterans they signed late in the 2013 season — either Daisuke Matsuzaka, who after three poor starts as a Met, was impressive in winning his final four starts for New York, or Aaron Harang, who was fairly good over four starts after Alderson signed him in September. But Offensive Upgrades Are Sorely Needed Where Alderson will need to improve the Mets the most is in their lineup. While he praised David Wright and Daniel Murphy as being championship-caliber players, he also noted New York’s desperate need to improve at a few other everyday positions. “You can’t go into the season with three or four below average positions,” he said. “You can’t get by with multiple positions that way.” To upgrade those areas, Alderson will likely have to turn to free agency this winter, but he’s also not adverse to seeing what the open market might return for a player such as the Mets’ disappointing 26-year-old first baseman Ike Davis, who at one time showed much promise. Finally With Money to Spend Again, the Shorter Term Moves Into Focus Despite the obvious and numerous offensive holes to fill, Alderson believes New York has a good foundation on which to build. “The platform from my standpoint is not that bad,” he said. “We’ve got a decent place from which to start.” And with money finally coming off of the Mets’ books, they should be in a position to spend like they haven’t been able to in quite some time. Thus, even with Harvey set to miss the entire 2014 season, Alderson was optimistic that the winds of change will blow through Flushing sooner rather than later — and that for the first time in a long time, Mets fans can start thinking about their team contending next season instead of solely building something better for much further down the road. “I think we’re going to have enough [money] available to make significant improvements, no question about that,” Alderson said. “We’re going to have significantly improved resources. I suspect that we’ll have plenty to work with we’re going to be aggressive.